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Saturday - 10:45 a.m.

Yesterday was Friday the thirteenth, and why do I feel like I should have died yesterday?

I never seriously expected to live this long. Really. Everyone in my family dies young, so maybe, here, in my late twenties, I'm simply going through my mid-life crisis. It appears that facing your own mortality can be a nerve-racking thing.

I didn't want it to be like this; I wanted to go out in grand style, like my brothers. I wanted to die doing something memorable. I didn't want to die a coward. But, it seems now I may be doomed to that fate. I certainly won't go out nobly if I just stay here doing the same stuff every day.

My older brother Jacob certainly died nobly. He jumped right into the jaws of death (literally), without hesitation. Jacob was always a hero. He never backed down, and he never lost. Even though what he did cost him his life, he didn't lose. He got those kids to safety. That's what he had set out to do in an instant of notice, and it is what he accomplished. I idolized him.

My younger brother James died doing what he loved - tackling the impossible. He leapt into the flames, and they consumed him. It was a fine Viking death. James was a warrior. He was stubborn, and he never gave up. James probably never stopped fighting that fire, even after he knew it was too late for him to get out. Sometimes, in my dreams, James wins.

It is only my sister who couldn't choose her fate. After my parents were murdered, Jacob took his inheritance and moved to San Francisco, while James moved to Denver. They needed to escape the memories. They needed to start fresh. Morghan and I were the only ones who stayed behind here in town and she decided to become a nurse.

Morghan always wanted to help people. Even now, she continues to be the kindest person I have ever known. But Morghan had problems. Especially with her first seizures, ever since her early teens when they began, and my parents were overly protective of her because of it.

They had me watch out for Morghan since she was only a few years younger than me. They had adopted her when I was only two, and they told her about the adoption when she was fifteen years old. It kind of freaked her out, and she spent some time in therapy because of it. But for years, Morghan and I were never that far apart from each other's side. One of the only reasons I stayed in town was because I had promised my parents I would watch over her. I even went to the college I did, because that's where Morghan was going to go to nursing school.

After my parents' murder, Morghan saw it as a chance to be liberated from them. She set about to be her own person. She was like a caged bird, finally out the open window. We had a bit of a falling out shortly after and drifted away from each other. I then became distracted and plunged headlong into my search for vengeance, the thirst of which consumed me for three years. I gave up writing, and my only thought was finding who was responsible and making them pay for what they had done. Morghan, draped in her new independence, got her own apartment, (up until then she had been living with me). We rarely talked. I didn't talk to her for months on end it seemed. I broke the promise I made to my parents.

It was the phone call that snapped me out of all of it.

Morghan hadn't shown up for work at the clinic that day, which was very unlike her. They had called her apartment all day and gotten no answer. That's when they called me to check on her. I immediately called her place, somehow thinking that they were idiots, and Morghan would pick up the phone because I was calling and not them. After letting it ring endlessly, I gave up and drove over.

I knocked on the front door and could hear her dog barking inside. I went to the landlord and tried to get a key, but they wouldn't give me one. So, I broke in. Morghan’s dog was going ballistic, even after he recognized me. He kept barking and barking and barking, and I couldn't get him to shut up. That's when I noticed it in the air.

It's hard to describe the smell of death.

It almost smells like roses, fresh from a freezer – sweet but cold.

I saw her in the bedroom. When I went in, her dog stopped barking and wouldn't follow me.

Morghan had apparently had a seizure during the night. She had rolled onto the floor and then had somehow gotten her head caught between the headboard and the wall. I could tell that she had been choking, but that's not what killed her. Trapped and unable to control her movements, one of the spasms from the seizure had finally snapped her neck.

Her eyes were open. She was staring upwards. Her mouth was closed, and her lips were curled into a small smile.

I could see the salt tracks left from the tears on her cheeks.

She was wearing a nightshirt I had gotten her for her birthday the previous year. It was hiked up past her hips. I sat there next to her in silence until the police showed. The neighbors had apparently called them when I began kicking in the front door.

I found Morghan on a Friday afternoon. It was on a Friday the thirteenth, to be exact.

Yesterday was Friday the thirteenth, the day I broke my promise.

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